Quantcast

Winter losses?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

The Poot 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
191
Reaction score
128
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
With 35 colonies to look after, I don’t know how you find the time for your landscaping business. You are a real grafter Curly👍
 

Apple 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
795
Reaction score
259
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
I have fondant, how did you know that the 18 colony that haven't been feed are natives.. You my friend are a wizard!
Funny?! one of the exotics have had 20kgs of fondant and counting.. There local Italian mongrels which doesn't sound so exotic does it.

My records show that one of our single brood native colonys only used 9kgs of stores last winter that was our frugalist colony I've raised some nice queen's from her this season.
Well done.. a bit of queen rearing and bee improvement going on I see.

I can never understand how the maths works with the cost of sugar/invert/fondant getting exponentially more expensive year on year... but beefarmers are only getting the same cash for bulk honey, and now the honey packers/ buyers do not even want to give the drums back!
Keeping frugal natives which produce the same amount of honey, and do not need requeening every year and or needing more packages/ colonies to make up winter losses.... seem to be one solution to this conundrum???

Chons da
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
514
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
35 this winter
Well done.. a bit of queen rearing and bee improvement going on I see.

I can never understand how the maths works with the cost of sugar/invert/fondant getting exponentially more expensive year on year... but beefarmers are only getting the same cash for bulk honey, and now the honey packers/ buyers do not even want to give the drums back!
Keeping frugal natives which produce the same amount of honey, and do not need requeening every year and or needing more packages/ colonies to make up winter losses.... seem to be one solution to this conundrum???

Chons da
We are trying apple with the Queen rearing.. Its all down to my mentor who has been brilliant.
Iho he says you need 20 colonys to select from, I've 18.
Our best producers this season have been our local Italians this season mainly because I've had more Italian production colonys than natives.
In the future this may change.
We have pruduced over 700lbs of honey in it various types spring, summer, late summer, Heather and ivy.
It's not that much but it's all been sold and we could sell more twice over.
Fondant has cost us £1 a kg for a bulk order from my very local Baker.

Bulk orders for honey are around £3 a lb all depending on quality and type. so imo more than what your suggesting.

I agree about the conundrum we need less imports and more beefarmers / breeders producing more viable queen's to take us forward, we are an island for God sake we should be able to control imports more.

My views have changed even after a month or so we had planned to try Carnica queen's but I think its going to be best as a small beefarmer to concentrate on our native bees and local mongrels.

The cut comb from our black girls looks so good as chunk honey and I can sell chunk honey @ £12.50 for 340gs..all day long.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
19,411
Reaction score
1,350
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
I bet your Italians are chomping their way through their stores.
Nobody I know keeps them here anymore though I know a couple of people who tried. Don’t know when to stop brooding and are particularly good robbers.
 

Ian123 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
2,424
Reaction score
135
Location
surrey
Hive Type
none
Well done.. a bit of queen rearing and bee improvement going on I see.

I can never understand how the maths works with the cost of sugar/invert/fondant getting exponentially more expensive year on year... but beefarmers are only getting the same cash for bulk honey, and now the honey packers/ buyers do not even want to give the drums back!
Keeping frugal natives which produce the same amount of honey, and do not need requeening every year and or needing more packages/ colonies to make up winter losses.... seem to be one solution to this conundrum???

Chons da
Not sure how to start. Old bfa chairman I know reports some good prices. If natives/ mongrels produce the same amount of honey why do you think commercials use other strains? Hives don’t need requeening every year! Winter losses replaced with packages or early queens made into Nucs will often reduce swarming impulses and be full production hives for the summer not to mention what can be sold on. That’s why they do it!! As to winter losses why are commercial beeks losses consistently lower than BBKA members? There are also races and strains that are equally hardy and frugal, carniolans are renowned for wintering ability. When you look at other countries you’ll see bees frowned on as exotic imports used in far harsher winters than we have, northern US/Canada and our very own finsky. I also wonder why that of all the places our wonder native super bee was exported to pretty much the vast majority of the empire. It’s not found much favour, and in beekeeping terms has been replaced by other imported races?
 

Swarm 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
7,792
Reaction score
517
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
more than 20, less than 100.
We are trying apple with the Queen rearing.. Its all down to my mentor who has been brilliant.
Iho he says you need 20 colonys to select from, I've 18.
Our best producers this season have been our local Italians this season mainly because I've had more Italian production colonys than natives.
In the future this may change.
We have pruduced over 700lbs of honey in it various types spring, summer, late summer, Heather and ivy.
It's not that much but it's all been sold and we could sell more twice over.
Fondant has cost us £1 a kg for a bulk order from my very local Baker.

Bulk orders for honey are around £3 a lb all depending on quality and type. so imo more than what your suggesting.

I agree about the conundrum we need less imports and more beefarmers / breeders producing more viable queen's to take us forward, we are an island for God sake we should be able to control imports more.

My views have changed even after a month or so we had planned to try Carnica queen's but I think its going to be best as a small beefarmer to concentrate on our native bees and local mongrels.

The cut comb from our black girls looks so good as chunk honey and I can sell chunk honey @ £12.50 for 340gs..all day long.
I think you are making the right choice, I'm sure they will do well and anyway it's much more rewarding and interesting to rear your own.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
514
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
35 this winter
I bet your Italians are chomping their way through their stores.
Nobody I know keeps them here anymore though I know a couple of people who tried. Don’t know when to stop brooding and are particularly good robbers.
Yep they are the colonys are huge to not really a good thing
 

Apple 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
795
Reaction score
259
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
So do I having 18 to play with I can be very selective..
It will be cheaper for me rearing my own.
It is very rewarding selecting and rearing your own bees... almost to the point that you do not want to sell any on... probably why we have 150 colonies!!

For the last 20 years I have been in a position where I could try all sorts of make of bee... and have!

If I was still trying to keep bees in Surrey I would be using Buckfasts and getting them on the heather... seems to have come back on the "Ranges" around Aldershot... still none on Ranmoor Common as far as I know.

BUT in some areas the Native dark bee seems to thrive... particularly well here in the
Greatfantasticgreygreenslimeytamarrivervalleyallsetaboutwithemptysecondhomes!
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
19,411
Reaction score
1,350
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
If I was still trying to keep bees in Surrey I would be using Buckfasts

BUT in some areas the Native dark bee seems to thrive... particularly well here in the
Greatfantasticgreygreenslimeytamarrivervalleyallsetaboutwithemptysecondhomes!
There’s a bit of wisdom in that
Soft bees do well in mild areas
Where I am my orange bees far outperform the black ones in a good year but we get few of those
In lesser years the black bees do better.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,081
Reaction score
324
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
8x Langstroth, a few Lang nucs,1x TBH, and about 17 mating mini nucs
Not sure how to start. Old bfa chairman I know reports some good prices. If natives/ mongrels produce the same amount of honey why do you think commercials use other strains? Hives don’t need requeening every year! Winter losses replaced with packages or early queens made into Nucs will often reduce swarming impulses and be full production hives for the summer not to mention what can be sold on. That’s why they do it!! As to winter losses why are commercial beeks losses consistently lower than BBKA members? There are also races and strains that are equally hardy and frugal, carniolans are renowned for wintering ability. When you look at other countries you’ll see bees frowned on as exotic imports used in far harsher winters than we have, northern US/Canada and our very own finsky. I also wonder why that of all the places our wonder native super bee was exported to pretty much the vast majority of the empire. It’s not found much favour, and in beekeeping terms has been replaced by other imported races?

Don't apply logic to the BBKA and its policies. There is no logic just narrow minded self interest.

And an inability to provide local queens to fill the demand they would have if their propaganda was true. If it was true, they would be outselling imports and producing queens in early Spring to replace winter losses etc. And would be undercutting imports on price - having no air fright to pay.

As it is, they are incapable of organising mass queen rearing...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
514
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
35 this winter
There’s a bit of wisdom in that
Soft bees do well in mild areas
Where I am my orange bees far outperform the black ones in a good year but we get few of those
In lesser years the black bees do better.
I've found this to, this spring was the best I've known for weather and our Italian mongrels out performed my black bee's.
But then the summer came and the Italians were using more stores and the black bees filled supers mostly foraging locally. The black bees aren't stupid.

On to the Heather, we had both on the Heather but the blacks performed better. Weather wasn't the best.

Ivy crop was better for the Italians but the weather was better.

We have a long way to go in our comparisons between both, maybe in 5 years time we will have better results to compare.
Each year is different and obviously this is a contributing factor.
 

The Poot 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
191
Reaction score
128
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
I bet your Italians are chomping their way through their stores.
Nobody I know keeps them here anymore though I know a couple of people who tried. Don’t know when to stop brooding and are particularly good robbers.
It’s the mafia influence that causes the robbing....
 

Swarm 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
7,792
Reaction score
517
Location
South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
more than 20, less than 100.
Sounds like you had better weather than we did here, Mark. I really can't recall a worse season tbh but still they brought it in as they always do.
Very cold today and they are bringing in Gorse.
 

Mint Bee 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
44
Location
Surrey
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8
If I was still trying to keep bees in Surrey I would be using Buckfasts and getting them on the heather... seems to have come back on the "Ranges" around Aldershot... still none on Ranmoor Common as far as I know.
I thought the only true bee was the AMM and all others should be smited? :)
A few sprigs of heather on Ranmoor now. NT have been helping it with scrub clearing. A bit more on the other side of the valley, but I've never bothered chasing it as with the acreage it would never be close to monofloral.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
514
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
35 this winter
Sounds like you had better weather than we did here, Mark. I really can't recall a worse season tbh but still they brought it in as they always do.
Very cold today and they are bringing in Gorse.
The best spring we've had so far Steve.
No late frosts.. Subsequently we had apples for the first time.
 

Apple 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
795
Reaction score
259
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
I thought the only true bee was the AMM and all others should be smited? :)
A few sprigs of heather on Ranmoor now. NT have been helping it with scrub clearing. A bit more on the other side of the valley, but I've never bothered chasing it as with the acreage it would never be close to monofloral.
Interesting to hear about Ranmoor Common... we had bees next to the Ranmoor Arms... which I believe was destroyed by fire a good few years ago... that whole hillside was covered in heather, you could even smell it from my home in Westcott... 30 - 40 years ago!

Bees should be fit for purpose IMOHO !
 

Apple 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
795
Reaction score
259
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
There’s a bit of wisdom in that
Soft bees do well in mild areas
Where I am my orange bees far outperform the black ones in a good year but we get few of those
In lesser years the black bees do better.
Very diplomatic!
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
514
Location
Titterstone clee South Shropshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
35 this winter
With 35 colonies to look after, I don’t know how you find the time for your landscaping business. You are a real grafter Curly👍
Don't forget about the farming and small football team I have as a family.

I don't know any different Mr Poot.
Im driven by love and copious amounts of food.
To think I use to be able to shear 400 ewes in a day I leave that now to the pros.
 

Honey Junction Ltd 

House Bee
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
355
Reaction score
23
Location
shropshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
173 national & 100 commercial
One below our target of 200 colonies into winter. Managed to limit feed to 1400kg as the majority filled up well on heather, although not to much excess for us. We expect 10% losses and anything under this is a bonus. Would have had more, but tried a few three frame nucs side by side in BS box's, but these were hammered by wasps and I amalgamated most of them. 80% of Queens are bought in British bred 70/30 split from two suppliers, the rest are from Romania on a three year trial. Most will get around 4kg of fondant on crownboard next month just to be sure.
 

Latest posts

Top